Rushmore Sixth-Graders Move Up

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More than 100 sixth-graders celebrated their move up to middle school during a ceremony at Rushmore Avenue’s Eugene V. Timpano Auditorium on June 26.

Rushmore’s select chorus opened the ceremony with the national anthem, followed by all sixth-graders performing the Rushmore school song.

In addressing the graduates and their parents, Superintendent of Schools David Flatley compared the students’ growth over the past several years to the cornstalks of Texas.

“They have done a fair amount of growing over the years,” said Flatley, “and if you blink too quickly, they will grow even more over the next six years.”

He urged parents to not let time go by too quickly and to remain partners with the school as their children enter middle school.

“Don’t just drop them at the door,” he said. “Attend their games and concerts.”

Rushmore Principal Susan Folkson also spoke about the students’ growth over the years, as well as their journey to their high school graduation in 2020.

“You can succeed at anything you put your mind to,” she said to the graduating class, urging them to use their vision, drive and persistence.

In addition to all students receiving sixth-grade diplomas, some were recognized with special awards, including the Triple “C” Award, the Loretta Stehik Award, the Perfect Attendance Award, the Marion Smith Award, the Principal’s Award of Distinction and the President’s Education Award.

After watching a slideshow of their time at Rushmore, accompanied by the orchestra playing “We Are the World,” the students heard from middle school/high school Principal Thomas DePaola, who assured them that struggling isn’t always a bad thing.

“I want you to struggle,” he said. “When you struggle, growth occurs.”

He also urged the students to spend their summer enjoying their childhood by sleeping late, running under the sprinkler, writing a long letter to a relative and catching fireflies.

Among those students awarded with special honors were:

Triple “C” Award: Grace Hungerford and Ruby Tirone

Loretta Stehlik Award: Francesca Venezia

Marion Smith Award: Dylan Lyons

Perfect Attendance Award: Danielle Grima

Principal’s Award of Distinction: Maya Aleman, Lauren Basso, Sydney Eichel, Juliana Ferolie, Julia Fortunato, Sophia Gregorace, Carly Perruzza, Julia Stabile, Emily Szalkowski, Samantha Wagner, Christopher Wright and Lingfei Zhao

President’s Award for Academic Achievement: Joseph Cohen, Daniel Driscoll, Miguel Freitas, Robert Garcia, Ethan Gonzalez, Adam Kwarren, Vanessa Murphy, Marcus Pomales, Connor Walsh, James Wright, Judy Yang, Olivia Zabierowski and Katarina Zedlovich

President’s Award for Achievement in the Arts: James Anastasio, Lauren Basso, Georgia Bevolas, Madison DeRidder, Sophia Gregorace, Danielle Grima, Cindy Lu, Carly Perruzza, Matthew Quijano, Vincent Terrone and Kristina Yim

President’s Award for Academic Excellence: Matthew Quijano